A Nigerian Real Estate Development Company, Octo5 Holdings Limited today in Lagos launched its STOW platform.
The virtual conference tagged, “The Octo5 Discourse” seeks to address issues and homebuyers' concerns which impede real estate investments in Nigeria.
According to the company, STOW is a web and app-enabled home purchase platform for off-plan and newly built homes provided by proven real estate developers. STOW enables prospective homeowners to reserve/subscribe to homes in existing and upcoming communities while making monthly payments over a given period to take ownership of such homes at completion.
From Left: Board Member, Octo5 Lauretta Odusolu, Chief Executive Official, Octo5 Holdings, Babajide Odusolu, Chairman, Octo5, Remi Adetayo, Board Members, Ronke Sokefun, Anthony Isodje and Managing Director, Abbey Mortgage Bank, Madu Hamman at the Octo5 Discourse Virtual Conference in Lagos on Tuesday, October 6, 2020.
It is designed as a demand aggregator and marketplace for buying and potentially trading homes being developed by Octo5 and a network of proven developers.
Through STOW, prospective subscribers can evaluate projects, subscribe to chosen ones, track their payments, monitor progress of work done and if desired, exercise an option to convert their purchases to mortgage homes.
Speaking during the event, CEO of Octo5 Holdings Limited, Mr Babajide Odusolu, said: “STOW is the next step in our continued quest to enable hard-working Nigerians to attain the freedom of becoming homeowners and gaining economic empowerment. The twin challenge that stops many from buying a property in planned communities with a good title is the need for payment flexibility and fear of non-performance. STOW creates a defined method for payments via instalments and project tracking through the app”.
Despite an increase in private sector investments in the Nigerian real estate industry, the country’s housing deficit keeps getting worse. Nigeria with an adult population in excess of 100 million, has a homeownership rate below 30% which is one of the poorest for large economies. The number of adult Nigerians living in sub-standard homes is in excess of 50% in urban and peri-urban areas.
Even with several recent laudable initiatives such as the Nigerian Mortgage Refinance Company and Family Homes Funds by the Federal Government and initiatives such as LagosHOMS, the challenge remains unabated especially as there is a perennial mismatch between the desired homes and what is available for career professionals. STOW seeks to serve as a credible platform and bridge for marrying homebuyers' needs with developers' output.
Odusolu added that STOW enables users to save as low as N50,000 monthly towards purchasing their dream homes.
“What we have done is to remove a major barrier to entry that discourages Nigerians from aspiring to become homeowners. Until we unlock the latent wealth in the informal sector, Nigeria will not grow! STOW creates access to the property with a good title and high-income prospects which can serve as both first homes and investment property and trade capital. Our goal is to set every working Nigerian free economically. This starts with building assets that can be leveraged," he said.
Also speaking during the event, Mr Madu Hamman, MD/CEO, Abbey Mortgage Bank PLC said: "We are excited to partner with Octo5 to demonstrate our commitment to the development of the real estate industry in Nigeria and indeed Africa. We believe in providing equal opportunities for players in the sector so we welcome men and women to partner with us to foster the much-needed development. We are repositioning ourselves and redesigning our products to encourage people to save consistently towards owning a home. This reinforces our mission to make dreams come true as well as create a paradigm shift in Africa’s vast real estate market".